Introduce yourself with 3-5 sentences.
I am a husband to my wife and a father to my daughter. Professionally, I have been involved in sales, service, business development, people and project management. I like to challenge myself in atypical situations. My concentration level is the best while I am outside of my comfort zone. While working, every action must have a point and a purpose. I am a big fan of questions WHY and HOW. My colleagues have characterized me as level-headed.
3 things people wouldn’t even guess if they just met you.
I admit, I don’t really think about what people think of me. I am always opened and sincere, I don’t wear any masks or play roles. I guess, people form their opinion of me based on how they sense me. When I’m meeting new people, I always go there free of prejudice and the image of the person develops through multiple meetings. I hope that other people do the same when they meet me.
You are a field manager at EAS, what does that mean and what are your main tasks?
I have been connected to EAS for 1,5 years now and I really like this organisation so far. It’s my first experience being in the public sector. When I first joined EAS, the main challenge was to reorganize the current team of processors to be the partner with strategic business consulting. This is still in progress, but we have made the first steps. Within a year we have put together a capable team and compiled a portfolio of 700 ambitious Estonian companies, with whom hope to make a development leap through product development or a business model change, while coaching them. My main role today is to support my team. To set goals, to give a meaning to their actions, to keep them focused and to use the skills of every team member right where they have the biggest impact.
Do you see and hear a lot of new and innovative ideas while doing your job? Have you ever thought about coming out with a new business or a start-up yourself?
One of my tasks is processing and evaluating different product developing projects every week. The fields of these vary from simply manufacturing metal to complex biotechnology. It gives me a nice overview of different sectors and the challenges they currently face. Because EAS is focused on already operating businesses who wish to develop, then we have only a few so-called start-up app makers. Mainly, we are dealing with technological or science development projects. At the moment, I have no intentions to start a new business.
What are the biggest challenges the entrepreneurship world has offered you?
Personally, I haven’t created any enterprises myself. However, I have an experience in entrepreneurship through my family. You only need one entrepreneur in a family. For the past 12 years I have been responsible for different teams related to sales and service. The biggest challenges have involved people – either putting together a team, motivating people or making some difficult decisions. While the processes can be quite static, every people in a team is unique and you must find an appropriate tuning to let the orchestra sound amazing.
Plans for the future?
I am not that kind of a person who makes really long-term plans for myself. Regarding my personal development, I have set a direction to follow for 3 years and I make a concrete plan of action for every year. That kind of an approach gives me enough flexibility to resist external influence and keeps focus on intermediate goals. Now, everything that is connected to export of Estonian businesses, keeps my mind sharp. I take action to be responsible of some kind of a company’s export in 2-3 years.
What kind of an advice would you give to a young entrepreneur? What is the key to success?
Now, there are lot of options to challenge yourself and learn through it. I encourage every young person to step outside of your comfort zone and to try out your ideas. As a young entrepreneur, there is nothing to lose and every failure is going to turn out as a worthy lesson to learn from. Definitely it is important to think globally and not to just limit your ideas with only Estonian market. This gives your idea a heftier dimension and a greater chance to succeed.
You found a way back to school. You study Management in Digital Society MBA, why this kind of a choice? How did you end up at EBS?
I did get my bachelor’s degree at EBS in 2003. I found last spring to be the perfect time for self-improvement and to continue my studies. A big part of it played the Digital Society field of study. It sparked an interest in me and it also is connected to my work today. So, I put 1 and 1 together and because it wasn’t the best option to go study abroad at that moment, then it was a quite logical selection from Estonian schools to continue at EBS.
You are a big fan of sports. You have even participated in different marathons and triathlons. What have been the most memorable challenges regarding that?
I find motivation to do sports primarily through some new challenges. If I feel that I have to push my boundaries for a competition, it motivates me to train. The strongest emotions I have had were in the end of a long-distance triathlon and in the finish at Vasaloppet marathon. The most beautiful moments I have had were in the early mornings of the second day of Adventure Racing. You have been on the track for 8-9 hours, a whole night of orientation in the dark forest is behind you, your body is already tired enough and then, when the sun rises, you notice the nature awaking and it gives you a super strong boost of energy.
Your favourite quote.
I am not much of a quoter and I have never specifically memorized them. One quote which ties up with my mindset is from Dalai Lama: „When you talk, you are only repeating what you know; but when you listen, you can learn something new. “
Editor: Liisa-Maria Lillepea
Translator: Marlen Kuusk